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“The staff put the 'friendly' in Friendly Vallarta” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Friendly Vallarta Resort

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Friendly Vallarta Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Km 2.5 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Friendly Hola Vallarta Resort and Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Winnipeg, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“The staff put the 'friendly' in Friendly Vallarta”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My husband and I just returned from PV. The resort is older and does need some upgrading but it is super clean. We stayed on the 5th floor of the tower and the room was really nice (rice pudding is yummy). The view, spectacular. All the rooms face the ocean which is really nice. The food was good. Dinner on the beach was fantastic. There is no fridge or coffee maker in the room but coffee is always available in the 'Sweet Corner' in the lobby. Also available after 7am is amazing cappuchino. No the resort itself is not a 5 star, but the staff make it so. They treat everyone like they are family. They also work very hard to make your stay the best ever. Everything morning the guy that worked on the beach setting up the loungers, would set our group of 8 chairs up, complete with lounge cushions, tables and umbrellas. Your umbrella wasn't in the right place, they moved it for you. The other staff that worked the beach or in the hotel were also great. Employees that stuck out at the resort because they were so good at their jobs were Mary and Lou in the lobby bar, and of course Sergio (double double) and Johnny Lightening. Hard workers and great people.
Italian ala carte was good. Overall it was a really enjoyable stay. I can understand why so many people go back to Friendly year after year.

Room Tip: get a room in the tower 5 stories or higher, the view is amazing. Also, nothing beats a PV sunset
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi Winterpegger48.

We thank you for everything you said about your stay, for us it is a pleasure to know that our guests are happy. Please do not forget to visit us, we hope to see you again this year! :)
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (300)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Alberta
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Background: Married couple, late 50's. Seventh visit to PV. Active and enjoy excursions. 26 Feb 13 to 8 Mar 13. An inexpensive holiday so keep that in mind when reading this. (Also keep in mind at certain times kids stay and eat free)
Hotel Check in; Porter took luggage immediately and we proceeded to desk. Person looked on reservations. Didn't know what to do because it was Expedia. Called someone who took care of check-in. Porter showed us to room 2509. Hotel has elevators. Maybe 10 minutes.
Room: We had a room that had a great view of PV and Pool and ocean. Had to open balcony door for a while to get the unpleasant smell out. In our room we had a small kitchette with dishes and coffe pot and full size fridge and kitchen sink. There was a hole where the cooktop was that was covered with a piece of plywood. Probably could of at least nailed it down. It was loose. There weren't any drawers in our room for clothes but shelves in the closet. No clock. They provide 2 - 1 litre bottles of water when you checkin.
Bathroom was clean but no facecloths or hand towels. Patio door locked but frame was broken away from wall. They absoulutely need new furniture on the balconies. A lot of pigeons so you had to watch when you sat on the chairs. I can't say the room wasn't clean. They cleaned every day (usually after 4:00pm) and washed the floor but they go thru really quickly because they have so many rooms. So I won't say spotless.
The pool area was clean. Pools are heated. If fact I think the pool was warmer than the hottub. Not kidding. The towel game is played here also but if you've stayed in Mexico you are used to that. Now you could always get a chair. Abrahim delivered the umbrellas and chairs wherever you wanted them. Also on the beach there was Spanish lessons at 10:00, beading at 11:00, Aerobics in the pool at Noon, cooking class at 2 or 3 and dance lessons at 4. There was also beach vollyball and pool volley ball and bingo around the pool. At about 11am someone came around with snacks and at 2 they passed out cold towels. Bar service was fairly regular.
Food. OK. Keep in mind what you pay for this AI. As they say, you wouldn't starve at this hotel however after 4 days you may want to. There are 4 restaurants (kind of). Now work with me here. There is a main buffet (indoor) for breakfast and directly above that is a smaller buffet (outdoors). Both are open at breakfast. The indoor buffet is open at lunch. There is also a smaller outdoor rest on the beach which serves hot dogs, hamburger, nachos etc. Not a buffet.
Now sometimes on the beach there is a barbecue. We had a great red snapper there one day. OK. Now for dinner. The indoor buffet is open until I think 10PM. Between the beach restaurant and the one outdoor above the indoor buffet one might be open. They could be serving Japanese or whatever but you kind of have to figure out which ones going to be open which is posted in the lobby but isn't always correct. There is a reservation only restaurant. You book it in the main buffet rest. The first time I booked it I asked for a reservation in 2 days for 7pm. No problem. The next time I tried I was told you only book the same day at 9AM. Some people were told you only get one reservation but I wasn't asked if I already booked so I didn't tell. So I guess it depends who's working. Now as for food. The bfk buffets are the same in both restaurants, and let's face it. Who screws up breakfast. The buffet lunch and supper are exactly the same every day except at supper they have a different meat. ( ei: beef, lamb (don't), turkey). There is a chicken dish every day with a different sauce. And fajitas every day at lunch and fish.
The reservation restaurant was really good. Worth the effort for men to put on the long pants.
There is a beach party once per week and I can honestly say it was probably the worst food I've had at a beach party. The hip of beef that was barbecued looked great but after we at the table tried to eat it we realized it must have had a hip replacement. There was also a Mexican nite. The food was the bottom end of OK. The meatballs were pink inside, and the ribs were served cold. The tortilla soup was good. Like I said you wouldn't starve. One thing about this was everything was only lukewarm. I think everything would have tasted a lot better if it was hot.
Staff: The staff was very good but I don't think better than any other staff of hotels I've stayed at in Mexico. (We tip). There are always one or two you remember as really good or not.
General: Even thou there were ramps in this hotel some of them were so steep you would need assistance using them. Walking down the ramps was bad enough.
Now for the worst. The noise. I honestly have never stayed in a hotel this noisy even during spring break in Cancun. All the entertainment is in the lobby which is really bad for the rooms above for about 10 floors which open on to halls which are open to the lobby. We were in the u-shaped rooms around the pool. So we got the music from the lobby and the music from the beach parties next door. The caller at the bingo could blast you right out of bed if they started up while you were having a short nap. I heard a lot of complaints about noise.
Don't know that I would stay here again. I love a good party but karioke for two hours is enough to bring me to tears however just my opinion. Many people I spoke to had been there over 5 times so maybe it's just me.

Room Tip: As far away from lobby as possible.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi AlbertaLovetravel.

Thank you very much for everything you mention, we regret the inconvenience you had during your stay. We have made many renovations to our hotel, in the lobby area, restaurants, beach area and many other points. We hope that on your next visit you choose us again, you will always be welcome :)
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

There are certainly more modern hotels and better eating establishments along the beach but the service from the staff at the Friendly is way above the rest. Within the first day you will start to discover the amazing personalities of each of the servers. Always smiling, always accomodating and after a few days, you will start to feel like they are your friends on vacation with you. The drinks were inconsistent, depending on the bar tender but the food in the Gourmet restaurant was great. I recommend the steak or bacon wrapped prawns. Every room in the tower has an ocean view and it was lovely.

Room Tip: The best rooms are in the tower and as high as possible. Keeps pool noise down and gives the best mo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi Schmaltzc.

It has been a pleasure to read all about your experience with us, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay! Hope to see you soon :)
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ajijic, Jalisco
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

This hotel is in good repair but the accommodations are not spectacular. There was no fridge or coffee making facilities in the room. The food was somewhat disappointing the meat often being tough and the selection of deserts was the same for the 6 meals we had.
The wine was the most horrid I've ever tasted and when I complained the manager said they could not afford to offer anything better considering the amount most people consume. But gallon jugs of Mexican wine is not acceptable in my opinion. We preferred to pay the extra 200 pesos for a more palatable Italian wine. The manager did kindly give me a bottle too.
I think they should offer a better wine and limit guests to 3 glasses a day by ticket.
The beach and pool are excellent.
Overall it is good value for money.

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor, looking out on the pool. It would be better to be on a higher level wi...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi Bobajijic.

Thank you very much for your recent visit, we regret that your experience was not as good as that of many others. The mini fridge can be requested at reception, we honestly do not have coffee makers and mini fridge in the rooms, because we offer an all inclusive service, all guests have the option to have food and drink for 24 hours, in our different restaurants. We hope you come back soon, we will be happy to see you again.
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Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Last minute trip from March 4-11th 2013 - with my sister and neice ( 15yr old ) Its been 23 yrs since I've been to Mexico - having not a great experience the first time, and then with all the travel advisories lately. I have to say, this little gem of a resort has made me rethink mexico :) It's not a large resort, unsure of the # of rooms - but its not of the large over crowded resorts, nice pool and right on the beach - close commute to the airport, 10-15 min maybe , but you dont hear any planes landing or taking off. Quick bus ride, located right outside the hotel, into the main downtown area. Great walking town, and felt safe and no problems. The food at Friendly, is good, you wont go hungry, however if you're looking for gourmet food not the best of resorts, however they do have a gourmet restaurant you can book, which had very nice meals, and also they have a beach party during the week for bbq - rooms are clean, need some updating, but housekeeeping does a good job of cleaning and making you comfortable. But the one thing for this resort that is outstanding for me, THE STAFF!! In all my travels, I have never met staff as fantastic, friendly, and will do anything for you - the big resorts could learn from these people :) from beach staff, restaurant, bar, lounge area and housekeeping - thank you all for making this a wonderful re introduction to mexico :) Ill be back for sure!!!

Room Tip: The main building has all ocean view rooms that overlook the pool as well
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi Janice T.

Thank you very much for sharing your opinion here on TripAdvisor, this will be very helpful to our future guests. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay and we'll see you soon, please keep in touch and do not forget about us! :)
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Winkler, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We revisited the Friendly Vallarta after 16 years. It was an amazing vacation. I know everyone says this, but the people are really so friendly. The food was amazing, especially the club sandwiches at the beach, wow, i think i had one every day for lunch.
The place had not changed much except for the beach service, which it didn't have when we first visited. I realy like that part of it. The beach has changes somewhat, it's a bit smaller now and the water is deep, not as easy just to play in the waves. But we knew this before we went so there were no surprises at all. We had a room on the 6th floor, wow, what a view!
I know now why people keep returning to this hotel.
I would definitely go back again.

Room Tip: A room in the tower above the 5th floor is best, nice and quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi fw12345.

Thank you very much, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We have made many renovations to our hotel since your last visit, in the lobby, restaurants, beach area, meeting rooms, bedrooms and more. We are delighted to know that you will return soon, we will be waiting for you :)
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Regina, Canada
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I travelled to the Friendly Vallarta with my mom and 7 year old son in December of 2012, and liked it so much that I returned with my son in March 2013. From the time we arrived until the time we left we recieved nothing but the most hospitable treatment. From the bellmen to the front desk staff, the beach staff (particularly Abraham), the servers around the pool (cheers to Kalucha, Carlos, Charly, Vicente, Double-Double & so many more - each one was great!), and most of all - the activities & kid's club staff - Karina, Caridad, William, Yaye & 'cookies'. I am missing many people who made the stay fabulous - including other guests, but these few were top on our list & the reason we will return in the future. The hotel is older and not fancy but it is everything I could ask for!! The food is delicioius & well-prepared. I am not a fan of buffet food in general, but at each meal there is one or two stations set up (depending on the restaurant) where you can pretty much order what you want, made to order - and it's delicious. My son likes the food at the Friendly better than any of the other resorts we have stayed at in PV - especially the pasta station! (And the pancakes made into seahorses for him in the mornings.) The activities staff are also part of the nightly entertainment 5 out of 7 nights, and put on a great family-friendly show each night, either in the lobby, the theatre or on the beach. Thurday night's beach show & HUGE buffet is definitely the best meal of the week. We hired a babysitter (Karina) twice during our stay, who we adore, and she came prepared with a gaming system and crafts for the kids to do. (A friend with kids also stayed at the resort & love Karina.) There is aquacize in the pool every day at noon, followed by basketball and volleyball, and poolside bingo. There are also dance classes, cooking classes, spanish lessons, bracelet making, etc etc. Oh I can't forget the ocean-front cabana were I receievd a great massage by the spa ladies! Never an end of things to do, and when wanting to just relax, the beach chairs are fabulous & have big squishy cushions (Abraham will set your chairs & cushions & umbrella up on the beach wherever you like!), and there is never a shortage of chairs around the pool. Some of the rooms have a musty smell to them, but are always very clean and a great size. Some have an extra seating area - loveseat & chair, some have a little kitchen - but all are nice. The only things a little off for me are the A La Carte, which I have never exerienced because children aren't allowed in. I do understand a need for a childless restaurant, but I think one a la carte should allow children in a child-friendly resort, and another downfall is that there is no outdoor bar where you can just sit around and visit - the outdoor bar is just one little hole in the wall on the way down to the beach here you can stop & get a drink. Great service at it, but it would be nice if there were somewhere to sit and visit other guests - we have enjoyed that at other resorts. ANd the only other strange thing was when I tried to pay for an extra night during the week, I wasn't allowed to, I was told to come back on the day of check-out & extend my stay then. (We had one of those weird middle of the night flights & I didn't want to check out at noon so I could let my son sleep for a few hours before the airport.) Anyways, in the end I did get to pay for another night in my room, but it was a little frustrating not being sure that it would be available until the very last day. But those downfalls are very minimal compared to all of the great features this hotel has to offer - mostly the staff!! We will definitly be visiting our friends at the Friendly for years to come!

Room Tip: I like to be closer to the pool and able to run up to my room often during the day without using the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Hi ALopez99.

Thank you very much for your review! We feel flattered for everything you say and we are very happy to know that all was fine during your stay. We would love to see you again, please keep in touch :)
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Additional Information about Friendly Vallarta Resort

Address: Km 2.5 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Friendly Hola Vallarta Resort and Spa)
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#14 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#23 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Friendly Vallarta Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An oceanfront hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.100% Family. Renovated Rooms. Friendly Staff. Wide beach. Food Variety. 24-hour food and beverage program. Unlimited domestic alcoholic beverages, and non-alcoholic drinks. Main pool with children's wading area. Indoor and outdoor "Kid’s Club" with fully supervised children's activities. Gym and Spa. Entertainment room. Daily activity programs. Nightly entertainment and weekly live shows. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa
Hola Vallarta
Hola Puerta Vallarta
Hola Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Hola Puerto Vallarta Resort
Hola Club Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Hola Vallarta
Hola Resort Puerto Vallarta
Hola Club Spa Puerto Vallarta

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